Egypt army officers charged with joining protesters against SCAF released

Ahram Online, Wednesday 9 Jan 2013

Army officers detained in 2011 protests are released pending psychological therapy; charges not dropped

Egyptians army officers
Egyptians army officers show their identification cards as they attend a rally in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, April 8, 2011. (Photo: AP)

Five military officers accused of protesting with civilians in 2011 were released Wednesday to undertake three months of psychological therapy before being examined by a committee consisting of army leaders that shall decide on their possible reinstatement.

Majors Fouad El-Desouki and Tamer Badr as well as Doctor Captain Omar El-Metwali and Lieutenant Mohamed Wadie were freed but not cleared of the original charges.

The quartet were among over 20 military officers who were arrested on 8 April 2011 during one of Tahrir Square’s trademark million-man demonstrations against the then-ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Wadie is the most known among the 8 April officers, being the group's leader. Other officers arrested 8 April were released earlier.

Ahmed Shoman, a military major who was twice detained for speaking out against the military in 2011, was also released Wednesday.

Refusing to discard his military uniform, Shoman publicly endorsed the popular uprising, which continued after SCAF took charge of the country on a transitional basis. His stance aggravated Egypt's military rulers.

Shoman was arrested in the wake of Mubarak’s departure but, under pressure from demonstrators and activists, SCAF pardoned him a few days later. The ruling military junta issued an implicit warning in an official statement that it would no longer tolerate such acts from military personnel.

Shoman was arrested again when joining protesters in Tahrir 22 November 2011, during clashes between protesters and Egypt's security forces on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, which saw more than 40 people killed.

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